DSE Adds Matchmaking, Boosts Networking Options For Dec. 2023 Event

May 26, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Questex, the events company behind the rebooted Digital Signage Experience (DSE) trade show and conference, is boosting networking and matchmaking capabilities for the 2023 edition, set for early December in Las Vegas.

DSE says its will create new networking lounges on the show floor designated for vertical market meetups in retail, DOOH, pro AV, and hospitality. These lounges will establish centralized locations for like-minded professionals to start and join important conversations.

Along with the networking lounges, connections will be further fostered via leading matchmaking technology with AI-powered meeting recommendations in the official show mobile app. The matchmaking feature analyzes attendees’ profiles, interests, and preferences, allowing for targeted recommendations and suggested connections based on shared interests and objectives. In addition, intuitive chat functionality and meeting scheduling tools simplify the process of connecting and arranging meetings, maximizing the potential for meaningful interactions.

“In recent years, there has been a notable shift towards events that prioritize a strong sense of togetherness, collaboration, and active participation,” says Marian Sandberg, vice president and market leader for DSE and LDI at Questex. “At DSE, we place a heavy emphasis on fostering connections, nurturing relationships, and creating an inclusive environment and interconnected ecosystem for all participants. The focus is on creating a shared experience where attendees feel a sense of belonging and engagement. This show is all about community and reconnecting annually with your community.”

I think this is a good and necessary move by the show’s organizers. It was clear from the 2022 event that the digital signage ecosystem was at DSE as much to network and engage with their “people” as it was to see the new software and hardware tech of vendors. The networking component is huge, but both exhibitors and attendees are hoping to also have productive conversations with partners and end-users in ways beyond hoping opportunities just wander up to their booths.

Connecting trade show attendees via show apps is not new (I used something called Bizzabo back in mid-2010s for a micro-conference series in Toronto), but this capability will be a lot richer and smarter these days.

The next logical step, it would seem, is more formalized matchmaking, perhaps like what happens at retail-focused ShopTalk – with tables and chairs set up like a chess tournament on the show floor, offering a curated, targeted version of speed dating. So if you are a QSR brand looking for digital menu display solutions, they’re paired with vendors who sell that stuff, and have 10-15 minutes to make their pitch.

The focused matchmaking thing is important. I have been at events that mandated quick meetings between visual merchandising people and PC manufacturers, and saw the someone-please-smother-me-with-a-pillow look of the fashion guy as he listened to a pitch about Atom and Celeron CPUs. Neither the buyer or seller wants meetings they both know aren’t going anywhere useful.

ShopTalk, interestingly, started with that speed-dating, complemented by educational tracks, but added on what was – the one time I went – a pretty significant exhibit hall. So the things can work in harmony.

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